Many Sault shoppers prefer stores over online shopping
While this is by no means a definitive statistical conclusion, a visit to a Sault mall by SooToday on Wednesday showed that many Saultites enjoyed the physical Christmas and Boxing Week shopping experience. compared to online holiday shopping, time spent with family and friends considered the most precious Christmas gift.
“I got everything I wanted for Christmas and more. Family time, good things. I did some Christmas shopping online, but I love going out and seeing people, talking to people and seeing the merchandise in my hand before I buy it, ”customer Mike Armitage told Station Mall.
“I haven’t done any online shopping this year. It was in the stores. You can see the article. You can see what you get. (Boxing Week sales) seem to be pretty good, ”said Michelle Caputo.
“Family is more important (for Christmas),” Caputo said.
“I have everything for Christmas and more. I had my family and great food. I have a nice sweater and what I’m looking for today is a jacket. I prefer in-store purchases. I prefer to see the product in my hand (before buying). I always wanted to buy local anyway, ”said Michael Sanchioni.
“I wanted family time and that’s what I got,” said client Linda Quevillon, although she said she was thrilled with a gift of earrings from her children.
“I prefer to come to the stores,” Quevillon said.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, online shopping is more popular with younger people.
“I like better online. It’s a better selection and easier to find, ”said Travis Quevillon, son of Linda Quevillon, a college student home for the holidays.
“There are better options online,” said a local shopper who identified himself as Brian, although he said he purchased items from local stores during the Boxing Week sale on Wednesday.
For some shoppers – naturally – geography plays a role in shopping, whether it’s Christmas / Boxing Day or throughout the year.
“Everything is online (for my family). Because we are from Wawa we don’t have a lot of options but we buy a lot (when we are in the Sault). We fill our truck after shopping at Station Mall, Walmart, Winners, ”smiled Carrie Bélanger.
What about brick and mortar retailers and their workers, many of whom have been hit hard by online shopping and the public reluctant to venture outside due to the spread of COVID-19 (currently the Omicron variant)?
“The traffic (shopping) was okay and sales were better than expected, absolutely, for Christmas and Boxing Day,” said Tim Hodgkinson, director of The Source.
“For Christmas sales we did well, and Boxing Day sales this week were pretty quiet. The first day of our return (Monday December 27th) was busy but the last two days have been quite quiet, not as busy as expected. Normally we are much busier. I think a lot of people ordered from the website (Tip Top Online Shopping) once we lowered the size availability, ”said Ramona Dodd, Head of Tip Top Tailors.
“I think a lot of people, with the COVID numbers rising as high as they are, were a little more nervous about going out to stores,” Dodd said, while stressing that Tip Top is diligent with COVID protocols.
Everything has been going well so far with Tip Top in general, whether store customers buy in person or online, Dodd said.
“There are events (such as Christmas gatherings and a multitude of other holidays and family occasions) that people want to dress for.”